A good crowd turned up at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Thursday (September 26) to watch Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag wield the willow. But on the day, it was Abhishek Nayar's sparkling 91 that proved to be the difference as India Blue beat Delhi by 18 runs in the opening match of the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy.
Delhi's chase of 271 depended on Sehwag after Kohli (5) was dismissed cheaply. Sehwag didn't disappoint as blazed away to a fifty off just 33 balls before being dismissed against the run of play. After that, the innings appeared to be headed nowhere, but Bhatia's never-say-die attitude inspired the lower-order to keep the fight going even as wickets continued to tumble.
Bhatia's knock of 65 and the ninth-wicket stand of 56 with Ashish Nehra kept Delhi in the hunt before he was undone by a slower delivery from Ankit Rajpoot. Nehra remained unbeaten on 37 when the final nail in Delhi's coffin was nailed by Vinay, who dismissed Parwinder Awana (12), as they were bowled out for 252 in 47.5 overs.